1. U-M Ann Arbor COVID-19 Update

    June 17, 2021

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    To support our return to more traditional residential campus activities, we’re changing our masking policies and adding a number of new tools for members of our community. Many are the result of your feedback and suggestions, and we appreciate your engagement in the health and safety of our community as we continue to deliver the mission of the University of Michigan.

    Here are the main updates at a glance:

    • Beginning Monday, fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff who self-report their vaccine information to the university will no longer be required to wear a mask or socially distance indoors or outdoors for most areas of our campuses. The change in our policy follows the recommendations of our Campus Health Response Committee, and recent public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state of Michigan. Michigan Medicine will continue to follow its own mask policies.
    • At this time, we continue to require face coverings regardless of vaccination status in classrooms, on campus transportation​, with participants in human research, ​and in health care areas where patients may be present​. As we are able to better assess vaccination rates in our community, we may modify our approach for classrooms.
    • Faculty and staff are asked to self-report their vaccination information as soon as possible via Wolverine Access using the same tool launched in April to collect student vaccination information.
    • In addition to allowing you to unmask indoors, uploading your vaccination information makes you eligible to win prizes. Ann Arbor campus students, faculty, and staff who get vaccinated and submit their vaccination information will be eligible for prize drawings scheduled to begin in the coming weeks. Students who have already submitted vaccination information will be entered into a separate prize drawing.
    • Appointments to get vaccinated remain available through Michigan Medicine, as well as the University Health Service.

    More information on these changes is available in the University Record. We’ve also created a list of FAQs as a resource for our community members.

    We’ll consider additional modifications based on today’s announcement by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well.

    More details, links and additional information are provided below.

    U-M Face Covering Policy

    Beginning Monday, fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff who self-report their vaccine information to the university will no longer be required to wear a mask or socially distance indoors or outdoors for most areas of our campuses.

    The change in our policy follows the recommendations of our Campus Health Response Committee, and recent public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, while meeting the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 requirements for employers.

    An individual is considered fully vaccinated at least two weeks after their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

    Our policy will continue to require face coverings regardless of vaccination status in classrooms, on U-M transportation​ ​and in health care areas where patients may be present​. The policy change currently applies to students, faculty, staff and guests on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. Visitors to our campuses will need to complete ResponsiBLUE’s guest screening process daily and voluntarily answer the applicable questions about vaccination status to be exempted from wearing a mask and social distancing.

    When interacting with study participants, researchers are expected to continue wearing a face covering regardless of whether the in-person activity is health related or occurs in a health care setting. For more information about university research operations, please refer to the Research Re-engagement webpage.

    Michigan Medicine will be following its own policies, and its employees will be updated within the next couple of weeks.

    We’ll consider additional modifications based on today’s announcement by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well.

    Vaccination Self-reporting

    Faculty and staff are asked to self-report their vaccination information via Wolverine Access using the same tool launched in April to collect student vaccination information.

    We encourage all community members to self-report their vaccination information as soon as possible. As of June 16, more than 21,400 U-M students have submitted their vaccination status and been verified by the university.

    Any community members who are not vaccinated or decline to submit vaccination information must continue wearing a face covering indoors and physically distance from others.

    Students who are fully vaccinated and submit verified information will be granted an exemption from mandatory testing requirements. We’ll continue to require weekly COVID-19 testing on campus in the fall for students who are unvaccinated and those students who choose not to share their vaccination information with the university. We urge these students to register, or update their previous registration and address, for the Community Sampling and Tracking Program as soon as possible. While not required of employees, weekly asymptomatic testing remains available through CSTP for faculty and staff.

    Students planning to live in campus housing are required to be vaccinated and self-report their vaccination information by July 16.

    All U-M community self-reported vaccination data will be managed centrally but will be available upon request to unit supervisors for policy compliance and follow-up in the near future.

    Student and Employee Vaccine Reporting Incentives

    Ann Arbor campus students, faculty, and staff who get vaccinated and submit their vaccination information will be eligible for prize drawings scheduled to begin in the coming weeks. Employees of Michigan Medicine, UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint should watch for future communications on potential incentives from their campuses.

    Prizes for students will range from gift cards to tickets to future athletic events. Faculty and staff drawings will also feature a variety of rewards, including cash prizes, parking passes, tickets to U-M athletic or performing arts events, and University Musical Society tickets.

    Students who have already submitted vaccination information will be entered into a separate prize drawing.

    A cross-campus team is working to finalize implementation of the random drawings and prize offerings. I thank the many units on our campus that have stepped up to offer incentives to support the important goal of vaccinating our community.

    Additional Updates

    • We continue to require the ResponsiBLUE screening check for all students, faculty, staff and guests who access campus buildings. ResponsiBLUE later this month will include a vaccination record status box tied to our self-reporting tool when you update your app.
    • Appointments to get vaccinated remain available through Michigan Medicine, as well as the University Health Service.

    I will continue to provide COVID-19 updates when needed to help keep everyone informed and address concerns and respond to feedback and questions from our community. You may also read the University Record for the latest stories and the Campus Maize and Blueprint site for updates. Stay safe and be healthy.

    Sincerely,

    Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D.
    President